Thursday, June 14, 2007

pet area networks

so i've decided that the killer app. for haggle is to put opportunistic networking nodes on pets - imagine your poodle or siamese had a collar with an iMote in it - you'd tell where it had been, and it could carry info around in an emergency - sort of like a St Bernards rescue dog (with the bradny barrel udner its chin) only virtual...

cool tech in daily use in merc

just got a cab ride from frankfurt to darmstadt - the taxi driver's phone rang - he answered withotu taking his hands of the steering wheel - speaker phone mike/volume all adjustable on buttons on the big mercedes steering wheel - but cooler - his cell phone was docked without wires and chardging in a wide slot you just drop it in and pick it up when you get out - very classy indeed - eat yr heart out mit:)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I take a dim view of this:-)

some folks at UW and M have built some tools to take public archives of people's snaps and build really really cool fly around views of the world, mixing metadata, virtual and real in a novel way -

only downside of this is that its possible it may deter people from publishing some stuff (flicr and other things may start to offer more closed community views) - especialyl when pictures contain private components - one could imagine a tool that allows synth-photo-shopping out those components auto-magically so people would have the private view for their friends and famiily, but still publish the public components (mostly this would be a foreground/.background edit since most snaps have one's subject in foreground (person) and the scene in the background (leaning tower of teleon or Voter Damn cathedral in new your or whathave you) -such automatic algorithms exist and are pretty good...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

etch a sketch for the Mac

so the ibook/macbook have accelerometers which you can program - so time to implement a software etch a sketch = use the tracker pad do draw, then shake it clear - easy as pie

about 3 minutes programming...

could be web based acherlly now i think about it...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Human Scale Metrics

When I was a kid I used to measure the price of things in units of Mars Bars (a popular chocolate teeth desctructor in the UK).

as a frequent cyclist (coommuniter) since 1981, I measure time in units of changing inner tubes (around 3 minutes with relevant kit)

I now measure credit and debt in books (loaned) and far prefer pounds (livres) as a measure of weight (4 apples) than kilos (enough potatoes for a rugby team).

SI units do not pass the usability criteria - just think of 1 Farad capacitor, or a 1 Tesla magnetic field - what were these guys doing when they came up with those? :-)

fooled by randomness - rain in cam is mainly on the tracks

Reading this fine book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

so one thing I "observed" is that whenver I come into cambridge by train and it is raining, the rain is either on the track before the station, or on the road after the station, but not both.

this is an observation bias - i only notice this as I will probably have my waterproof ccling gear on already if it is both, but have to put it on or take it off if its exclusively one or other. so i only remember the times i have to change gear:-)

bizarely, steven hand recommended this book to me the day it arrived from amazon for me - of course, he probably bought it because of the same publication and reviews as I did so thats not a "coincidence" - its understandable (else how would "charts" ever work:-)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Building MAD Systems

today I am in Bertinoro at FuDiCo III, a
workshop on building MAD systems - FuDiCo is Future Directions in distributed Compting,
and MAD is not totally crazy, but stands for "multiple administrative domains".

I took some happy snaps with my trusty camera fone:-)

So far, the place is totally cool, and the talks are v. interesting!

So from the network perspective, I offered these notes:

1. End users adapt their rate to maximize utility & network providers provision
routes to maximise profit and minimise costs (through getting high utilisation)

Separately, ISPs compete by offering transit to end users, and to other ISPs
(either in customer / provider relationship, or peering)

However, end users cannot choose ISP - the mechanism that might work is loose
source routing - it could be policed coarse or fine grained, but is in fact
blocked. If a user subscribed to an IS that advertised "long haul provider
selection" it could be done to differentiate traffic (e.g. by delay, reliability
or whatever), but ISPs argue against this option
i) incorrectly, that it would be a security flaw (claiming it would allow
trangular/indirection attacks on the internet - in facty it still reveals the
source, and most indirection attacks on the net relay on higher level relays to
obfuscate the source)
ii) more crucually, that it would "level the playing field" between ISPs - that
is the point - in an ideal sense, by allowing users to game the system, just as
ISPs can do to each other, it wold move them to a marginal profit (i.e. a
"perfect market")

The question is whether in practive it might have other problems if there are
malicious players out there or accidentally bad players as well as rational and
altruistic users and ISPs

how would we show that offering Internet "AS long haul provider selection" is, in
general, not the end of the ISP business (and further is stable or has other nice
properties in terms of deployability)?

2. There are perverser incentives for ISPs to not prevent Distributed Denial of
Service attacks - An ISP in the UK that has no servers measures wuite frequent
traffic flows traversing their network to other ISps at aggregate data rates of
up to 7Gbps! Since their own customers are not impacted by this, AND they get to
claim they are forwarding lots of traffic transit to other ISPs, they get to peer
with those other ISPs instead of just being a customer so they have no reason to
block/ratelimit or blackhole these DDOS attacks!

Other examples of perverse incentives are
Microsoft shipped an anti-vurus advisory system in Windows XP Service Pack II but
did not include their own antivris software because they were worried about
litigation (e.g. under anti-trust law) from the Windows Virus protection software
vendors - default-on anti virus software would mean that less systems would be
susceptible to explotation as (say) botnet bot/farm/ddos sources, but because
microsoft didnt ship a product, many people installing XP chose not to spend
extra to buy antivirus, and so are vulnerable to being used as attacker sources!

how would one mitigate this?
background - distributed systems versus networks - areas of interest, community focus, venues and research approaches:

non gameable congestion control/rate
e.g. dual opt formulation
U: maximise each users utility
N: maximise revenue for min cost

properties we'd like to derive
deviation from fairness?
range and scope of efficiency?
[i.e. quantitative] <- sigcommm

converge (bad gadget)
goal (rational/byzantine/altruistic)
negotiation & revelation

propertues we'd like results for
range of business relationships
[i.e. qualitative] <- podc

DoS-Proof (Next Generation) Internet & MANET
incentive align/game
start with strategy proof
identity/resource use
propertes we'd like to have
risk/impact of attack
percentage free riding
[i.e. quantiative] <- sigcomm

incentive align (upload v. download)
sybil proof (non fakeable ID)
non foregeable token
attack on content (dos on content)
desirable properties
cooperation (whether by altruism or enforcement)
performance of p2p v. server v. multicast
[i.e. quantiative & qualiative] <- sigcomm and podc!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

whither weather back when? backcasting

here's a half an idea

last week in italy it rained like help - the forecast predicted it would rai na bit but was out by a factor of 3, but anyhow who am i to complain, but now i try to find a record of
1/ the forecast
2/ the backcast
for last week, i find nada, nuttin, doodlysquat - there's no record of what people predicted versus what happened. what kind of a service is that then eh? its not like we're giving away trade secrets (like form and horsies). It should be Out There for us to find. The truth (or lack of it) should be in weather backcasts.

the could be a whole new brand of dweeb who stands up on youtube or whateve god forsaken technology comes along next to replace TV, and tries to "do better" given the data - we could have Met Office Bake Offs (oops, sorry, bakeoff is a trademark of some american apple pie company:) - but perhaps, in this era of global warning, it would be a bake off (which city is gonan bake its greenbelt right off next summer? perth? LA? ulan batur?

This has been another barking and reading idea from the Free Plotware Foundation.

(yeah , i know the wayback engine would have sort of provided this, but the wayback engine was wayback, like when the web was tiny (smaller than my memory stick) and even then it was way behind:-)